One of the greatest challenges busy families face is sitting down together for a healthy meal. I don’t need to list all of the scheduling issues that get in the way, we’re all intimately familiar with what they are.
According to a data brief published by the National Center for Health Statistics in 2018, between 2013 and 2016, on any given day, approximately 84.8 million adults in the U.S. are consuming fast food? That’s almost 37% of the population. In a data brief published in 2015 by the National Center for Health Statistics, 34% of children were eating fast food on any given day. That’s a little more than 1-in-3.
As much as I love a Coke from McD’s, I have made a real effort in the last several years to cut fast food out of our diets. Every so often one of the boys requests a Happy Meal, and if they catch me on a day where I’m up to my neck, I’ll oblige. When I started working from home I made a list of goals, and near the top was “cook at home at least 6 days of the week”. I hit that goal just about every week, but it’s been a series of trials and errors. If I find a recipe that’s fast, delicious, and kid-approved, I try to get it into regular rotation.
Busy family, have you tried Sheet Pan Dinners?
Inspired by busy Scout Nights, I searched for ways to whip something healthy together that can cook while the family gets ready for their meetings. We love hobo packet meals when we’re camping, so Sheet Pan Dinners were truly a natural progression for us. I love that everything cooks down together and there’s minimal clean-up. They’re super versatile and can be pulled together on the fly with ingredients you already have on hand.
Our favorite is BBQ Turkey Kielbasa and Veggies. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
BBQ Turkey Kielbasa and Veggies
- Turkey Polska Kielbasa (I like Hillshire Farm) sliced into coins
- 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
- 4 or 5 red or small yellow potatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow squash, sliced
- 1 zucchini, sliced
- handful cherry tomatoes
- any veggies you have on hand
- bbq sauce (we love Sweet Baby Ray’s)
- salt and pepper
- garlic powder
- veggie / olive / grapeseed oil (your preference)
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper
3. Starting on one end of the sheet pan, make piles of your vegetables and kielbasa (see the picture)
4. Drizzle the vegetables with the oil of your choice
5. Coat your kielbasa in the bbq sauce
6. Sprinkle the potatoes and tomatoes with salt and pepper
7. Sprinkle all remaining veggies with garlic powder
8. Bake for 30 minutes
The beauty of this particular recipe is that you can easily customize it to suit your family’s preferences and available produce. Corn on the cob wrapped in foil cooks perfectly along side this particular recipe.
My favorite part of this recipe is that, once you’ve put away any leftovers (though, we don’t normally have those), you just throw away the parchment paper liner and quickly clean your sheet pan. It’s a game-changer!
Have you tried this recipe? What were your thoughts? Will you try it again or make changes?
Reynolds Kitchens Non-Stick Baking Parchment Paper Sheets – 12 x 16 inch
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